Before My Mother Died
After “ín the desert” by Stephen Crane
It is bitter—bitter,
said the creature
eating its own heart.
Ready and hopeful to find
the seed in the pit of the fruit,
as though it could be blanched,
rendered safe, shared,
I opened, I asked,
Is there anything you want
to talk about? We sat crow-legged,
my mother & I, intimate
near flowing water, near stone
on the edge of Tuolumne meadow.
The silence between us grew long,
a silence of two
next to each other
hearing the wind,
Hilda Weiss has poetry published or forthcoming in Thimble, The Bookend Review, Spillway, Cultural Weekly, Comstock Review, Salamander, Schuylkill Journal, and Rattle, among others. She has a chapbook, Optimism About Trees (Finishing Line Press), and is the co-founder and curator for www.Poetry.LA, a non-profit group that produces videos of poets in performance, interviews, and other poetry-themed programs. A fourth generation Californian, she grows her own vegetables in a garden full of native California plants in Santa Monica.
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